State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced that California students have reached a 97 percent participation rate in 2014–15 tests.
The participation rate allowed California to meet the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which requires a 95 percent participation rate statewide.
Torlakson said the high participation rate is significant because almost all tests were taken on computers — not paper and pencil — and reflected the state’s new, more rigorous California standards in ELA and mathematics, frequently referred to as Common Core.
“These numbers tell an important story,” Torlakson said. “They reflect strong support for our new standards among parents, teachers, students, and business and community leaders. The standards are a critical part of our plan to improve education in California because they emphasize skills that prepare students for 21st century careers and college, such as critical thinking and problem solving.”
The high rates also show how effective state and local efforts have been in upgrading Internet capability at California schools. Only about 900 of the 3.2 million students who took the tests used paper and pencil because of inadequate technology.
Schools administered the tests March through June in grades three through eight, and grade eleven. Final data recently became available. Even though a new federal law governing education was signed by President Obama earlier this month, accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 are still in effect until the 2017–18 school year. States, districts, and individual schools are all required to meet federal participation and proficiency standards or take measures to improve their performance. Because of California’s new testing program, the state received a one-year waiver in meeting federal proficiency requirements.
California’s 2015 participation rates are available online at the California Department of Education’s searchable DataQuest and at the department’s Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Web page.